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27 Feb, 2010 07:38

TNK-BP looking for market expansion beyond Russia

TNK-BP has told RT it is considering making further investments beyond Russian borders after the company dropped its previous objections to the expansion of the company into foreign markets.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited the company's research center in the city of Tyumen on Friday to see where TNK-BP was exploring and extracting oil. During the visit, RT spoke with major TNK-BP shareholder German Haan, who said that the company was eyeing refining assets in Lithuania.

RT: What is TNK-BP’s innovative strategy?

GH: “TNK-BP’s strategy for using innovation is quite simple. We have a lot of heavy crude assets and we try to implement the best methods known to raise the effectiveness of oil production. And as for refining we are working hard to upgrade and develop new technologies to maximize the output of light oils. Our center focuses on researching oil fields and everything related to it and provides further training for industry staff to keep up with the latest developments in the industry.”

RT: TNK-BP is carrying out large scale and costly projects in East Siberia, in case the government cancels zero export duty, will this somehow affect your projects?

GH: “Of course, the impact would be negative. The decision to ease taxes was well thought-out. The collective appeal from oil producers was supported by the Prime minister. Should this decision be changed, both our company and many others working here would have to freeze or delay many projects and drop investments. Geological exploration would suffer most. As for the TNK-BP projects, those which would suffer first would be the oil fields in the Yamal region and our early-stage project in Eastern Siberia –we’ll have to slow down the work and cut investment.”

RT: Does TNK-BP plan to acquire any oil processing assets in Russia or maybe abroad? What is your growth strategy?

GH: “For a long time we have been interested in joining the Majeiku refinery project with our Polish partners. If this option becomes available to us now, we’ll examine it carefully and would be ready to start negotiations on the subject. Planned investments for this year are about 4.5 billion dollars.”

RT: In terms of economic instability, what will be the main focus of the company?

GH: “Efficiency is the cornerstone of our business. And the current price range suggests we should focus on the domestic market as it’s obviously more profitable.”